Ten turkeys invited to a Thursday luncheon decide, one by one, that attending might not be such a great idea.
The anthropomorphic turkeys are initially thrilled at Mr. and Mrs. Byrd’s invitation and accept enthusiastically. But reservations arise early on: “TEN hungry turkeys were on their way to lunch / when one turkey said, ‘Uh oh, I have a hunch. / I know we thought this would be fun, / but something just feels wrong. / Please don’t be mad, / ’cause I feel bad. / I just can’t come along.’ ” When they bump into two families—three stereotypical American Indians bearing a platter of corn and three stereotypical Pilgrims bearing a roast fowl—another turkey drops out. And so it goes, Balsley’s rhyme never faltering (though it may need some rehearsal at first), as turkey after turkey expresses ever more explicit qualms about the Byrds’ menu and decides not to attend. Finally just one turkey’s left to happily accept yams from Mrs. Byrd, who is revealed to be yet another anthropomorphic turkey. Richard dresses her turkeys in outfits that range from a biker vest to a pink cardigan; although they are nominally individuated, it’s hard to tell from the compositions which turkey is speaking until the page is turned and readers must figure out which one is missing.
A side dish at best. (Picture book. 4-7)